Sunday, November 11, 2018

Stitt/Pinnell could be a game changer!

Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair

      Last week, Republican dominated at the polls in Oklahoma.  Keven Stitt, a political newcomer, beat Drew Edmondson by 13 percentage points.  That was the case for every state wide race- Republicans dominated.  More women will serve in the Oklahoma legislature than in any time in the state’s history.  Also teachers will be in the legislature- in both Parties.  Three observations and predictions for the upcoming legislature session:
     First, lobbyists are happy.  New members mean new people to influence and get into the fold.  Many legislators elected are political novices and will listen to special interests.  That is never good for the average Oklahoman and usually winds up costing us money.  New blood is good only when they understand the issues before the get there.  If they are educated after election, then Oklahomans lose. 
     Second, legislative leadership is happy.  New members means new people to influence and get into the fold.  Same as above.  Legislative leadership isn’t looking for people with new ideas.  They don’t want someone who thinks outside the box.  They want someone who will toe the line and vote like they tell them.  Radical ideas like repealing taxes, auditing government, and cutting waste is just for campaign brochures.  It’s not for actual implementation.  Until the grassroots GOP infrastructure is strong and active, candidates will be recruiting, trained, and funded by special interests, which will result in poor government.
     Third, little to nothing will change in the upcoming legislative session.  The primary reason is because we are electing the wrong people.  There are no risk takers or innovators being elected.  The new people being elected to the legislature are just happy to have a title and want to make sure they get re-elected.  Expect the same representation you had before;  people who pay lip service to conservatives while raising taxes and growing government- all in the name of moving Oklahoma forward.  Until a groundswell of Oklahomans force their legislators to defend their votes, we will have the same thing we have always had- Republicans who vote like Democrats after they have been elected.
     There may be some hope.  The election of Kevin Stitt and Matt Pinnell may make a difference.  Both are somewhat political outsiders.  Neither Stitt or Pinnell had never ran for office, albeit Pinnell has been involved in politics his entire adult life as an operative.  Neither appear to have deep ties to special interests and want to move the state forward.           That could be a game changer.  Oklahoma needs strong leaders who think outside the box.  That visionary leadership is not going to come from the legislature- it will have to come from the executive branch.  Stitt and Pinnell may be those guys.  They are both from the private sector.  They are both entrepreneurs.  Time will reveal whether they are risk-takers and visionaries, but different than what we have had has to be good.

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